Ústí museum workers freed the historic tram and stored it in a depository

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Update: 21/12/2023 14:51

Issued by: 21/12/2023, 14:51

Ústí nad Labem – Ústí museum workers today used a crane to free a historic tram of the municipal railway from the garden in Chabařovice. For years it served as a garden cabin. Museum workers have now cleaned the over 120-year-old car, lifted it into the air with a crane and transferred it through the garage to a truck, which transported the machine to a covered depository. Martin Krsek, head of the historical department of the Ustě museum, told ČTK.

The owner wanted to replace the dilapidated cabin with a new one. At that moment, historians received a tip from a tram enthusiast. “It was our dream to discover someone’s well-preserved Ústí tram, but we didn’t really believe that 55 years after the cancellation of tram service in Ústí, one still survived,” said Krsek. They agreed to buy it for 15,000 crowns with the owner. And then they started planning the move.

First, the museum workers had to demolish the annex and clear out the interior furnished as a living space. Even before the clearance, a number of original features such as sliding doors, parts of the wall paneling, lighting fixtures or the leather ceiling grab handle for passengers were clearly preserved. Even on one side, the original paint remained intact, including the city emblem, the inscription Dopravní podnik Ústí nad Labem and the car number 32. “The roof has lost its typical skylight and is damaged by long-term leakage,” said Krsek.

Around the vehicle, the museum workers had to cut the bushes and convince the neighbor to let the crane into his garden. They wished for light frost and sunshine for work. In the end, temperatures were well above zero and rainy in Ústí. “The ground was very sticky and by the time everything was done we were all soaked, but again there was no strong wind as the weathermen had predicted,” the historian said. With great caution, the crane operator lifted the tram and transferred it above the garage to a truck, which took the machine to the museum depository in Ústí nad Labem.

The car was built between 1900 and 1901 by Weyer Wagon Works in Düsseldorf for the street railways in Krefeld, Rhineland-Westphalia. In 1911, it was converted into a towing vehicle, and in 1924, together with six others of the same type, it was bought by Ústí nad Labem. They last took passengers to Chabařovice and Klíša. After the operation of these two lines stopped during the gradual liquidation of tram traffic, the transport company finally retired them and sold them to private interested parties as shelters. That’s how car No. 32 got to Chabařovice. “We do not want to put the tram into operation, but we would like to use it in the future as an attractive exhibit of the upcoming industrial exposition. It is a reminder of the most extensive narrow-gauge urban railway in Bohemia,” said the director of the museum, Václav Houfek. Tram transport in Ústí nad Labem ran from 1899 to 1971, included 36 kilometers of tracks and led from the city center to the Ore Mountains.

CR Ústí nad Labem interesting public transport machines museum AUDIO PHOTO